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LG Burners + Ritek = Twighlight Zone Mysteries!

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LG Burners + Ritek = Twighlight Zone Mysteries!

Postby kahunanui on Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:36 pm

We've just run into some strange dealings with LG drives and Ritek -RW & +RW media. We're hoping some of the gurus up here could shed some light on this. We've dug deep on this and only found some similar situations with BIOS/chipset determing how certain media reacts in a particular drive.

GSA-4163B

Had this drive originally installed in a home-built ASUS P4C800-E Dlx/3.2GHZ, and had purchased Ritek 6x -RW media. Well, this drive wouldn't read, burn or even recognise these disks. So I brought them to my neighbor to try his Sony drive and his drive had no problems with these disks. Then we tried the Ritek 8x +RW and were happy to see that our 4163B had no problems with them.

We then upgraded the drive to a GSA-H22N. Here's what we've discovered:

H22N had no problems with the -RW media. But it would not write the +RW at 8x...only 4x would give us a readable disk.

Well, we stuck the replaced 4163B into another homebuilt system. This one was built around an Intel D815EPEA2/P3 Tualatin 1.x GHZ. Now the 4163B had no problems with the Ritek 6x -RW disks! And it still was able to burn at a full 8x with the +RW as before.

As an old "Ironworker", it's not like I haven't seen strange things with Bios and chipsets and the like. And it isn't like i haven't put together more than a few systems in my day. But I never expected to see the drives perform so differently when placed into different systems.

I could see if the drive was only able to burn at a different speed or similar when used in another system, but to go from not recognising the disk to working perfectly is a bit much. Also, I would expect the newer H22N to be able to burn the +RW at 8x in a P4 system rather than the older 4163B in a P3 system?! Firmware on the H22N is 1.01. Perhaps there is something newer out, but I was unable to find anything. Firmware in the 4163B is 1.06.

Can someone shed some light on this? Could the system make that much difference to a particular drive?

Thanks for any help or information.
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Postby Ian on Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:58 pm

That is very weird. At first I was going to suggest that the 6x DVD-RW media wasn't supported by the drive, or at least the firmware you're using, but that doesn't explain why it works on the second system. Maybe its due to an application you had installed on the first one?
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Postby kahunanui on Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:09 am

Ian wrote:That is very weird. At first I was going to suggest that the 6x DVD-RW media wasn't supported by the drive, or at least the firmware you're using, but that doesn't explain why it works on the second system. Maybe its due to an application you had installed on the first one?
Thank for the response Ian! I cannot explain this other than to believe that there are more variables than i had previously thought. But it may have more to do with what drive it "lives with" than anything else. For instance, the H22N is giving me some weird coasters. Using Verbatim 16x +R. I've burned hundreds of DVDs with the 4163B in this machine and never had one coaster. This one has given me already 4 of them within only around 20 trys. It makes me nervous when i get sporadic results like this. I use this drive as a slave to a LiteOn DVDRom. Perhaps it doesn't like the LiteOn? H22N Firmware is 1.01.

Do you think it would make a difference if I switched it to Primary and put the LiteOn as the second drive? I don't believe it is the Verbatim discs as I'm using the very same batch as i used in the 4163. Any suggestions to help me trouble shoot this? Depending upon what you think about switching it with the Liteon, i'll try also to run it alone to see if it helps.

I'll explain why I wrote "wierd coasters" above. When this happens, the DVD is only readable in the H22N that burned it but shows up as an AUDIO disk with one track. Nevertheless, PowerDVD will still play the movie. The Stand alone players all give error. The other computer drives do not read it either. And this last time I got coaster was really strange. After I rebooted system, the next burn was ok. It read in all players/drives. The time before that, I had just installed "TweakUI". After that, the drive spit out 3 coasters. I then uninstalled TweakUI, didn't reboot yet the next burn was ok. I had thought it was somehow the TweakUI, but now it just did it again.

I wonder if anyone else is getting this kind of inconsistency with this drive and has any ideas?

Thanks again!
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:21 am

kahunanui wrote:Do you think it would make a difference if I switched it to Primary and put the LiteOn as the second drive? ... i'll try also to run it alone to see if it helps.
can't hurt to try these 2 arrangements and see if it helps. sometimes this solves problems (drives are inexplicably problematic in certain setups or with other particular drivers).
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Postby Dartman on Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:15 pm

Some makers do say only run drive as master etc for best results so I'd give it a try too. Moving cards around sometimes makes a difference for problems with video and like that also, as it changes IRQ's and things to make em play well together.
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EEEYAH!

Postby kahunanui on Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:16 pm

UPDATE:

First the problem with the 4163B not erasing the Ritek -RW DVDs:

Now i believe i REALLY must have entered the TZone! I decided to try putting the 4163 back in the P4 (where it was originally, before we bought the H22N) and put it as master. Well, now it would READ the -RW but still not burn them, or erase them. In fact Nero claimed it was not a rewritable disc blah blah blah. Then I ran it alone by removing the LiteOn. Same thing. I then put it back into the P3, where I THOUGHT it worked before (thus my original post) but guess what? It now no longer recognized the -RW disc as rewritable - same problem all over again. It would READ the disc but not burn or erase them. I'm starting to think I'm going stark raving mad. This is the only optical drive on that system.

There is only (3) scenarios that make sense here:

1. I AM in the TZone, or going bonkers.
2. Somehow things have changed and the drive no longer will recognize these -RW discs. Perhaps it was a fluke that it ever did?
3. Somehow, my "Old Timer's Disease" prompted me to actually test the +RW discs (which always worked in this drive) instead of the -RW which I had THOUGHT i was testing. However unlikely, it is POSSIBLE, as the markings are virtually identical except for the tiny + or - symbol. As a Tech, i find now this to be thoroughly EMBARASSING, even to entertain this possiibilty. I now apologise to this incredible Forum for not paying even closer attention to what I was doing. :oops:

Second, the H22N producing coasters & burning +RW at 8x:

I put the H22N back into the P4 as Master. Kept original cables and did about 3 or 4 burns with no coasters... YET. The next coaster I get i will change cables to flat ones and go from there. Somehow, it SEEMS better as Master....but time will tell. Also, it now burns +RW @ 8x. Before, it would burn @ 8x but disc was unusable.

Again, I apologise for not paying closer attention to my earlier testing (I had THOUGHT I was, but now, since the drive is not able to burn these -RWs, I wonder if it ever did). Since I don't believe i'm [totally] nuts, and I really don't believe in the TZone, i have to believe that i had goofed and was actually testing the +RW disc at the time it burned. Until I know different, I will conclude that these Ritek -RW discs are INCOMPATIBLE with this drive. Can ANYONE independently confirm this? I need some redemption.. ;)

Thats what I get for staying up with no sleep night after night and not supplementing with great quantities of Mountain Dew or Bavarian beer.
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Master's the Charm

Postby kahunanui on Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:39 pm

GSA-H22N Works like a Charm now!

After numerous burns at various speeds and using various apps, there have been no coasters. Seems that setting this drive as master solved the problem, whatever it was.

Still no change on the 4163B and Ritek DVD-RW media. I wonder if an alternate firmware would do the trick? The drive works so well with other media that i hesitate to try, although i like the idea of Region Free firmware.

Any suggestions for this drive that has worked well?

Thanks again Forum.
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